Ancient Greek Sicily Tetradrachm Coin from Leontini - 450 BC

Ancient Coins - Ancient Greek Sicily Tetradrachm Coin from Leontini - 450 BC
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A beautiful and well provenanced ancient Greek silver tetradrachm from Leontini, Sicily. Struck circa 450 BC from dies of  fine Severe / Early Classical style.


The obverse (image II) with a graceful portrait of the patron deity of Leontini, Apollo. He is shown facing right, gazing skywards and crowned with a laurel wreath.  His long hair tied into a chignon, sitting at the nape of the neck, loose curls cascade down his cheek and along the forehead.


The reverse (image i) with a ferocious, open-jawed lion facing right and framed by the produce of the region, four plump grains of barley. The legend around reading:


LEONTINON 


"Of the Leontines"



Fifth century BC Greece is perhaps the most important period in the development of western culture. The art created during this glorious age of innovation was also experiencing a dramatic change; evolving from the stiff, powerful depictions of archaic art to the sensuous, refined elegance of the Classical.


This coin was created during the middle of the century by a city just freed from the rule of tyrants. Perhaps in celebration of this the Leontines chose a new design for their coinage. The obverse no longer shows the old Syracusan image of the four horse chariot but instead boasts a portrait of Leontini's patron deity, executed with poised elegance. The reverse retains the city's old depiction of the lion, the sacred beast of Apollo, now shown in a more lively, playful style. The reverse also works as a pun on the city name, for the Greek word for lion is leon.  


A beautifully toned, highly pleasing example, with a documented provenance.



Diameter: 25.80 mm.


Weight: 16.90 g.


Provenance:


Ex. Bonhams - Vecchi & Sons, Auktion 6, 14 - 15 September 1981, London, lot 71.

Preis SKU: 30642
US$ 3,000.00
  • € 2,562.30
  • £ 2,337.90
  • AUD 4,212.00
  • CHF 2,768.40
  • CAD 4,016.70

Wechselkurs: 09/30/20

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